The next Stellaris expansion will be Federations, Paradox announced today, focusing on making the game spacefriends groups more complex and interesting. Federations will come in several flavours, for starters, like a trade league or research cooperative. They'll also be able to level up to unlock new type-specific perks. Spacepolitics will expand with the option for a galactic senate too. Finally, after three years of focusing on the mystery and wonder side of sci-fi, Stellaris will capture the intrigue of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Federations will also introduce Origins, flavourful backgrounds for our spacemen. Paradox give examples like starting on a shattered ring world, as a vassal of a Fallen Empire, being Void Dwellers who abandoned their homeworld, or "a society that worships and protects a powerful Tree of Life". Some existing Civics, including Post-Apocalyptic and Life-Seeded, are becoming Origins, Paradox said in a dev diary. Given that half the fun is roleplaying different types of empire (as Brendy showed with his space turtles), I'm game.
The expansion's due to bring a huge mobile starbase named the Juggernaut and the Mega Shipyard megastructure too.
Paradox have not yet announced a release date for Stellaris: Federations.
Paradox also announced the Lithoids Species Pack, a wee DLC adding portraits, voices, and ships for rock people. While these Species Packs are usually cosmetic, this lot will eat minerals, live for yonks, and be able to colonise most environments. That will launch this Thursday, October 24th at £5.79/€7.99/$7.99.